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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has delayed the oyster season in a portion of the public oyster seed grounds until further notice in an effort to protect recently settled young oysters referred to as spat. 

The delay includes that area of the public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, including Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound.  The oyster season was originally set to open in this area on October 20.  Protection of the oyster spat is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area of the public oyster seed grounds as they represent the future oyster resource in an area where oyster stocks continue to be low and spatfall has remained below normal.

The Commission authorized LDWF Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered.  The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

To view a map detailing today’s action click here.